Baikonur, Earth (Bajkonur, Terra)
Location: Redstone Theater
With director Andrea Sorini in person for discussion after the film
Presented by the Italian Cultural Institute
Italy/Kazakhstan/Russia. Dir. Andrea Sorini, 2018, 74 mins. Digital projection. A film of otherworldly beauty, Andrea Sorini’s gently surreal documentary study of the home of the Baikonur Cosmodrome—the world’s first space launch facility—achieves the feat of making life on Earth look as alien as any destination in the universe. Built for the launch of Sputnik in the 1950s, the Cosmodrome, located in a desert region of Kazakhstan, is still in use, for sending rockets to the International Space Station. Cows and camels wander through the sparsely populated streets, old churches and statues contrast the stark modernist architecture of the space program, and a karaoke bar is bathed in eerie blue light. Sorini’s film is a cinematic marvel, filled with strangely beautiful images and slowly building to a blast-off finale.
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